Confindustria Moda, the Italian federation that brings together the associations of the Textile, Fashion and Accessory sectors, today presented to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation the proposals of the TMA sector for the ‘Export Pact’, in its component of the ‘Plan extraordinary for Made in Italy‘. “The Textile, Fashion and Accessories sector – he explains Ercole Botto Poala, vice president of Confindustria Moda – is still in a difficult phase and extraordinary plans are also needed for exports. We are satisfied with the efforts that the government is making to support companies and to pay attention to the demands of the world of industry. Precisely for this reason the proposals that we are presenting today translate into concrete projects that arise from real and deeply felt needs of the over 60 thousand associated companies of which Confindustria Moda acts as interpreter “.
The proposals put forward by Confindustria Moda aim to support Italian exports in a key phase for the restart, which, although started, does not yet allow to reach pre-pandemic levels. The average annual recovery for the TMA in 2021 is in fact expected to be in the order of + 20.6%, seeing the total turnover return to 90.4 billion euros: a gap with 2019 levels of -8%. The points submitted to the ministry give absolute priority to the commercial aspects. The first concerns theidentification of strategic markets. The goal is to define the field of action, identifying strategic markets for the different stages of maturity that characterize them. Firstly, the more consolidated markets where it is essential to maintain a presence, namely the USA, Japan, Russia, Korea and China; then the emerging ones in which Made in Italy must be relaunched, such as Central Asia and South East Asia; and finally those emerging in perspective, such as the African continent, starting with Nigeria.
The second point brought to the attention of the ministry concerns the type of promotional actions in the context of integrated promotion: strengthening the commercial networks through periodic mapping of qualified foreign operators (distributors, importers, agents, buyers) and B2b initiatives, and carrying out preparatory training activities for entering new markets; in the United States and China, to launch dedicated three-year projects, with the involvement of the Italian diplomatic offices, aimed at creating the conditions for starting new commercial relations with distribution partners, both traditional and digital. Then integrate each project with an in-depth study of the market, which contains both a focus on purchasing drivers and distribution channels, and a proposal for b2b events even in areas where the Italian product is less known, to support companies in capturing and interpreting macro trends and guide buyers for purchases in line with market demands.
Third aspect is thediplomatic action to support promotion (trade corridors). In particular, avoid new blocks to travel between countries due to the resurgence of the virus, through bilateral agreements for the maintenance and creation of commercial corridors that allow companies, even in aggregate form, to reach their customers safely and quickly and vice versa, to international buyers to arrive at trade fairs in Italy. This, Confindustria Moda underlines “is a prerequisite without which the majority of 2022 initiatives risk being compromised or weakened, and it is fundamental for the restart of exports”.
Fourth key point is the support for the digitalisation of the business system. It is a question of “enhancing the economic support for trade fair organizers, companies severely tested by the pandemic, favoring international trade fairs present in our area, because they are capable of being an internationalization tool for companies and a driving force for the local economy” . Although the digitization of the exhibition system and of companies is essential, Confindustria Moda suggests implementing a hybrid, physical-virtual exhibition system, where the still relevant needs and requirements of ‘touch and feel’ are accompanied by the virtual matching mode, in a new and original model of promotion of the beautiful and well made Italian.
In terms of agreements with the main international marketplaces that go in the direction of pushing companies to approach the e-commerce formula, the goal is to focus resources on a smaller number of countries / platforms, to ensure the possibility of a more punctuality of the single initiative. The first results in terms of adhesions to these initiatives, in fact, were not in line with expectations because our fabric is mainly composed of Small and Medium Enterprises that are still unwilling to invest in e-commerce and are not yet prepared. to manage it with resources and dedicated staff. For this reason, the economic, information and training effort activated by the institutions and associations has not yet produced the desired results.
Another aspect is the subsidized export finance, making structural and strengthening the subsidized loans for companies to allow them to have certainty of resources and plan interventions for participation in fairs, e-commerce, capitalization in the best possible way. For the federation, it is also necessary to expand the tool already made available by the institutions, through Simest-Sace, to cover initiatives on the EU market and grants. The federation also asks to suspend the current conditionality, which requires that 30% of the funding be invested in a digitization project directly linked to the financed operation, assessing the degree of digitization of the applicant company on the basis of annual expenses or other parameters. more general.
Finally, the last fundamental point is the protection of made in Italy in the world, refinancing and strengthening anti-counterfeiting help desks (Istanbul, Moscow, New York and Beijing) and activating, on some strategic markets, a first legal assistance service for Italian companies, which are increasingly forced to face legal disputes for the just recognition of their rights, such as missed payments for products sold, failure to return goods on consignment due to incorrect behavior of the commercial counterpart or due to the bankruptcy of the same.